as Sascha in Casablanca
18 April 1903|
St. Petersburg, Russia
8 September 1998 (aged 95)|
Fountain Hills, Arizona, U.S.
Tina York (1983–1998; his death)|
Iphigenie Castiglioni (1943–1963; her death)
Josephine Tankus (1930–1939; her death)
Leonid Kinskey (18 April 1903 or c. 1894 – 8 September 1998) was a Russian-born film and television actor who enjoyed a long career. Kinskey is best known for his role as Sascha in the film Casablanca (1942).
Life and career
Kinskey was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He started his career as a mime in various imperial theatres in Russia in the mid 1910s. In 1921, he fled Russia for Germany. He acted on stage in Europe and South America before arriving in New York City from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in January 1924. He joined the road production of Al Jolson's musical Wonder Bar, and in 1926 he made an appearance in the silent film The Great Depression, although his scenes were deleted, before making his appearance in Trouble in Paradise (1932). His looks and accent helped him gain supporting roles in several movies, including the Sylvanian "agitator" in the Marx Bros. film Duck Soup (1933). He told Aljean Harmetz, author of Round Up the Usual Suspects: The Making of Casablanca, that he was cast in his best-known role, Sascha in Casablanca, because he was a drinking buddy of star Humphrey Bogart. He replaced Leo Mostovoy because the latter was deemed not funny enough.
Kinskey performed in episodes on no less than three dozen television series between the 1950s and early 1970s. His first appearances on the "small screen" were in 1954 on Passport to Danger, The Spike Jones Show, and Lux Video Theater. Later, in 1962, he portrayed a visiting Soviet dignitary (with most of his dialogue in Russian) in the episode "The Good Will Tour" on the sitcom The Real McCoys. In 1965, Kinskey was also a cast member in the pilot episode of Hogan's Heroes, performing as another Soviet character, who was an allied soldier and fellow prisoner-of-war. He, however, decided not to join the cast when that series went into formal production, for he reportedly "was uncomfortable playing let's-pretend with people in Nazi garb." His final roles on television were in 1971, as a professor on the series Mayberry R.F.D.; a mortician on O'Hara, U.S. Treasury; and as a deli butcher on the sitcom The Chicago Teddy Bears.
Kinskey married three times, first from 1930 to 1939 to Josephine or Sonja Zossia Tankus (1901 or 1902–1939). His second wife was actress Iphigenie Castiglioni (1895–1963), from 1943 until her death in 1963. He then married an almost four decades younger Tina York (born 1941) in 1985. They remained together until 1998, when, at the age of 95, Kinskey died of complications of a stroke in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
- The Big Broadcast (1932) as Ivan
- Trouble in Paradise (1932) as Russian Visitor (uncredited)
- Storm at Daybreak (1933) as Serbian Villager (uncredited)
- Duck Soup (1933) as Agitator
- Girl Without a Room (1933) as Gallopsky
- The Cat and the Fiddle (1934) as Hans - Conservatory Violinist (uncredited)
- Manhattan Melodrama (1934) as Trotskyite Slapping Poppa Rosen (uncredited)
- Change of Heart (1934) as Party Guest (uncredited)
- Strictly Dynamite (1934) as Garçon (uncredited)
- Hollywood Party (1934) as Jake the Cabbie (uncredited)
- Fugitive Road (1934) as Nicholas Petrovich,- Smuggler
- Straight Is the Way (1934) as Mechanic (uncredited)
- The Merry Widow (1934) as Shepherd (uncredited)
- Marie Galante (1934) as Arohnson (uncredited)
- We Live Again (1934) as Simon Kartinkin
- The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) as Snake Charmer (uncredited)
- The Gilded Lily (1935) as Vocal Teacher (uncredited)
- Les Misérables (1935) as Genflou
- Goin' to Town (1935) as Cecil - Interior Decorator (uncredited)
- I Live My Life (1935) as Waiter (uncredited)
- Peter Ibbetson (1935) as Prisoner (uncredited)
- Three Godfathers (1936) as Card Player (uncredited)
- The Road to Glory (1936) as Wounded Soldier
- Rhythm on the Range (1936) as Mischa
- A Son Comes Home (1936) as Hoodlum (uncredited)
- The General Died at Dawn (1936) as Stewart
- The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936) as Russian (uncredited)
- The Garden of Allah (1936) as Voluble Arab (uncredited)
- Love on the Run (1936) as Man on Train (uncredited)
- We're on the Jury (1937) as Professor Nicholas Krakin
- Espionage (1937) as Maxie Burgos
- Maytime (1937) as Student in Bar (uncredited)
- The Woman I Love (1937) (uncredited)
- Cafe Metropole (1937) as Artist
- The Girl from Scotland Yard (1937) as Mischa
- Married Before Breakfast (1937) as Mischa Lapidoff (uncredited)
- Meet the Boyfriend (1937) as Dr. Sokoloff
- Make a Wish (1937) as Moe
- One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) as Pianist at Mrs. Frost's Party (uncredited)
- The Sheik Steps Out (1937) as Allusi Ali
- My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937) as A Waiter
- Nothing Sacred (1937) as Ferdinand Roassare - Poet (uncredited)
- Wise Girl (1937) as Eccentric Greenwich Village Writer (uncredited)
- Outside of Paradise (1938) as Cafe Owner Ivan Petrovich
- The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) as Ivan (uncredited)
- A Trip to Paris (1938) as Emile
- Three Blind Mice (1938) as Young Man
- Professor Beware (1938) as Tableau Director (uncredited)
- Algiers (1938) as L'Arbi
- The Great Waltz (1938) as Dudelman
- Flirting with Fate (1938) as Pedro Lopez
- The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) as Artist
- Exile Express (1939) as David
- The Spellbinder (1939) as Harry Beldon - Saxophone Player
- On Your Toes (1939) as Ivan Boultonoff
- Day-Time Wife (1939) as Coco
- Everything Happens at Night (1939) as Groder
- He Stayed for Breakfast (1940) as Comrade Nicky
- Down Argentine Way (1940) as Tito Acuna
- So Ends Our Night (1941) as The Chicken
- That Night in Rio (1941) as Pierre
- Broadway Limited (1941) as Ivan
- Week-End in Havana (1941) as Rafael
- Ball of Fire (1941) as Prof. Quintana
- Lady for a Night (1942) as Boris
- Brooklyn Orchid (1942) as Ignatz Rachkowsky
- I Married an Angel (1942) as Zinski
- The Talk of the Town (1942) as Jan Pulaski
- Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) as Dorloff (uncredited)
- Casablanca (1942) as Sacha
- Cinderella Swings It (1943) as Vladimir Smitkin
- Let's Have Fun (1943) as Gregory Loosnikoff
- El circo (1943) as Cliente ruso zapatero
- Presenting Lily Mars (1943) as Leo
- Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943) as Window Washer
- Five Were Chosen (1944)
- The Fighting Seabees (1944) as Johnny Novasky
- That's My Baby! (1944) as Doctor Svatsky
- Can't Help Singing (1944) as Koppa
- Monsieur Beaucaire (1946) as Rene
- Alimony (1949) as Joe Wood
- The Great Sinner (1949) as Bandleader in Park (uncredited)
- Nancy Goes to Rio (1950) as Ivan Putroff (uncredited)
- Honeychile (1951) as Chick Lister
- Gobs and Gals (1952) as Ivan
- The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) as Dominiwski
- Glory (1956) as Vasily
- The Helen Morgan Story (1957) as Stanislausky - Accordion Player (uncredited)
- Jan 1924 passenger list stating his age as 30. "Ancestry.com".
- Lawrence Van Gelder (12 September 1998). "Leonid Kinskey, 95, Bartender in 'Casablanca'". The New York Times.
- Interview with Kinskey. "www.JSTOR.org". JSTOR 3815321.
- Obituary. "Latimes.com".
- Leo Mostovoy on IMDb
- "Leonid Kinskey," (IMDb). Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- "Hogan's Heroes' unceremonious finale comes from the era before TV "endgames"". Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- Naturalisation petition. "Ancestry.com".
- February 1924 passenger list, Age is given as 22. "Ancestry.com".
- Naturalisation petition. "Ancestry.com".
- Details about Josephine kinskey. "Ancestry.com".
- Birth date of iphigenie castigloni. "Ancestry.com".
- Date of marriage to Tina York. "Ancestry.com".